Project students receive Leakey Awards

Leakey Foundation

Owl Monkey Project researchers and PhD candidates at the University of Pennsylvania Margaret Corley and Andrea Spence-Aizenberg have both been awarded general grants from The Leakey Foundation.

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adult female owl monkey in Argentina – photo by Ben Finkel

Margaret’s project, “Dispersal and reproductive function in socially monogamous owl monkeys”, examines correlates of dispersal in free-ranging Azara’s owl monkeys (Aotus azarae) of Argentina. She is investigating dispersal at the level of the social group by examining endocrine and behavioral correlates of dispersal, and at the level of the community by genetically sampling individuals in different habitats. This research will shed light on how monogamous social structure relates to patterns of dispersal and how dispersal affects the genetic structure of populations in fragmented habitats.

Andrea’s project, “Olfaction, partner choice, and reproduction in owl monkeys (Aotus spp.),” examines olfactory communication in pair bonded primates. Using data on behavior, endocrinology, and chemical signals collected from wild and captive owl monkeys, she is investigating the role of olfactory signals in male and female social relationships. This research will increase our knowledge of olfactory signals in owl monkeys, while contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of olfactory communication across primates.

A big congratulations to Maggie and Andrea.

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